Suns

Booker Blazing Suns Through the Playoffs

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This Phoenix Suns team has been clicking on all cylinders possible, and what a treat it has been.

Playoff basketball has been a new chapter for the 2021 Suns. The defense has been astounding every night, led by Deandre Ayton (not to mention his instant classic, the game winning “Valley”-oop). The offense can be found all over the place, from the starters to the bench players like Cameron Payne or Torrey Craig. But above all, Devin Booker is still finding his way to shine among the rest.

Playoffs So Far

To start, we’re gonna take a look back at what Book has been able to already do in his first career playoff run.

Because oh boy, has it been astounding.

Throughout these 12 games played so far, he is putting up per-game stats of 28.3 points, 7.1 rebounds and 5.3 assists.

One thing we already knew– Book was born to get buckets in the playoffs. Per stathead.com, he is one of four players with at least 28 points in the first 12 games of their first career playoff run. Joining very exclusive company with Rick Barry, LeBron James and this year’s Trae Young. Doing it on all three levels, it seems there is no defense that can stand in the way of this man’s massacre.

Breaking his personal best for three pointers made in a game — FINALLY getting past six by hitting eight — was only the start of what we were about to witness.

Playmaking Excellence

While his scoring continues to amaze, it’s the other parts of his game that are standing out and are popping eyes. Book’s playmaking has reached another level during these playoffs. Different defenses are being thrown at him left and right. However, he is handling it with composure and poise. This is a result of having trust in his teammates he’s never had before.

Patience has been a new door unlocked for Book. You still see instances where he can get ahead of himself, driving through the lane with no real end game, that results in a jump pass to the opposing team. While he still needs to cut down on the unnecessary turnovers, Book has more than taken advantage of the talent around him.

First Career Triple-Double

Now, let’s not sugarcoat things, and let’s get into Devin Booker‘s best game of his career. Because of course it came in his first WCF appearance.

Putting up a stat line of 44 points, 11 assists, 10 rebounds and only two turnovers, it was a D-Book master class of basketball. Not only scoring from all three levels of the floor, he also had his hands on 26 of Phoenix’s 49 made baskets by assist or scoring himself. Book really showed the heights of what his game can reach any given night. This man is special, and it is time people recognize it.

Control of the Game

Let’s start with his manipulation of the Clippers’ defense in Game 1. Book had 11 assists, but even that number doesn’t do any justice for how good he was. With multiple traps being thrown his way, Book was able to make the right read and pass for the ball to fly around the court and get an open look somewhere else.

Not only that, his poise and patience in the paint after driving was pivotal. Always finding the right guy and not getting too ahead of himself would lead to everyone being able to contribute off the defense collapsing on him. His gravity is a tool he is certainly learning to utilize effectively.

Scoring Showcase

Now onto the scoring onslaught Book was able to put on display. Shooting 52 FG%/43 3P%/100 FT%, he is consistently the most efficient guy on the floor, and we got to see the full bag. To highlight, we’re gonna focus in on Book’s 18-point scoring flurry in the the third quarter.

From the above video you can see all (plus some free throws not shown sprinkled in) of Book’s buckets to start the second half.

Dude was doing it from all over the place.

Pull-up threes off the dribble. And-one midrange buckets with opponents in his face. Backing down defenders to the paint and getting the turn around bucket.

It’s too easy for him sometimes.

Book has a knack for taking over quarters at a time. This, however, is something Suns fans have been watching all his career. It’s time for the world to take notice and recognize greatness.

Bloody Game 2

Taking a look back at Game 2– Book wasn’t as much of a dominant force. Still managing to put up 20 points, it came on some lack luster shooting percentages. One thing to note, however, was the amount of physical play — and stoppage time by the refs — there was. This didn’t give much time to get himself into a rhythm like he had in Game 1.

First hand look at the physicality mentioned before…

In the end, Book still mustered up the strength to go to the locker room, get stitched up, and run back out to a standing ovation. As deserved as any before.

We have a true warrior on our team, Suns fans. There are precious few players that want to hoop more than anything else. Book is one of those guys. He will do anything to be back on that court. We need to appreciate this man while he’s giving us his all.

To The Promised Land

The final destination is yet to be sealed for this team, there is no shame in looking as far as the eye can see. Book might be taking us all the way this year. With the run he is on, the only thing that can stop him is himself.

Keeping his composure and poise when teams try to pick on him is going to be key going forward. Although, throughout this playoffs, he’s been doing better than anyone could have asked. Talking that talk when he needs to, letting the play speak for itself when the time comes.

Suns fans, let’s ride this high as long as we can. No shame in letting the world know about where we are at and what we’ve done. Defied all odds to get to the place were at. Nobody can take any bit of fun away from you, they’re probably just jealous we beat their favorite team anyway.

Follow us on Twitter @SunsLead for the latest Suns news and insight. 

About Cameron Prichard

Twitter: @TheValleyAthltc

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